How marketing to dad affects the workplace

If dad is prominently featured in the marketing of products and services all around us, it then becomes the normalized state. Genders will be viewed without favoritism, but rather with impartiality, while still welcoming and honoring the valuable differences among us. No longer will it be mom versus dad. Judgment will vanish from our speech. The approach toward work and play will change, and society is destined to benefit.

There are many reasons why including dads in marketing makes sense financially and morally, but the case to do so goes far beyond inclusion, equality, and profit. Though all very noble objectives, it has abundant meaning for humanity as it can streamline the way society is developed. Consider the range of ways that marketing to dad can have a far reaching positive impact it can have, but one overlooked area is in the workplace.

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Companies who place a value on dads in the workforce are directly upholding the human value of its employees. With labor-cost as one of the top expenses in any company, one can’t help but wonder if too much focus is placed on output to the exclusion of the person doing the work.

In other words, those are people sitting at those desks and work stations – are businesses putting them first, above the work itself? Are they valued as the greatest resource in the company? Are there enough policies in place that value them as parents?

There should be provisions for a family-first culture through parental leave, flex time, compressed work weeks, remote work, job sharing, and more. These indirect, non-monetary benefits help to motivate and retain current employees, as well as attract new talent. These policies can easily result in more productive employees who are inspired to share even more of themselves and their abilities at work. Never forget that when employees resign, they typically don’t quit the work, they quit the employer.

The impacts don’t end there. Employees who have a positive work experience will share it through their personal social media outlets. They will spread the goodwill of a company culture that caters to dads who place family first. Every single employee – regardless of title or department – can serve as a brand ambassador. And other companies like to do business with like-minded companies of the same beliefs.

If your company doesn’t place importance on dad, that word will get around, too. You may feel or think the negative banter doesn’t go much farther than the proverbial locker room, but destructive words spread faster with the growth of social media.

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Making babywearing important for both parents

Want to discover that babywearing can be comfortable, stylish and – here’s the kicker – easy? Look no further than Lalabu, which seems to be getting a lot of good press lately.

Its original Soothe Shirt, unveiled in 2013, has a built-in nursing bra, two layers of fabric, plus a popular, feminine look. Its most endearing feature is that it’s simply easier than a wrap or harness. Users only have to slide the baby into the kangaroo-inspired pocket, and that’s it. No fuss, no installation, no extra person needed.lalabu1.jpg

Its popularity grew, but there was no mistaking that the look and style was intended for women. So, Lalabu introduced a dad version. We love the extra consideration they’ve given dads which no other company seems to have figured out. The only problem? It wasn’t called a “Soothe Shirt,” but a “Dad Shirt.”

We can’t help but asking: why?

The difference in names implies that dads can’t soothe a child, or it’s not masculine, or whatever. It further underscores the perception that men aren’t nurturers, nor the primary parent.

It would have been so much more appropriate to call them each soothe shirts – just have a women’s version and a men’s version. Right now it’s akin to the NCAA’s treatment of college basketball’s championship. The men’s version is called the “Final Four,” the women’s is “Women’s Final Four.” It’s important to distinguish between the two, but not make one feel lesser than the other.

Lalabu is relatively new, but its impact is notable. It deserves recognition for giving both parents a product that’s functional and purposeful by gender.

How about showing the parenting world you mean business – business to both parents as equals?

We’ve got a fever, and the only prescription is dad inclusion

For decades, health and wellness product marketers have placed mom in the lead when it comes to taking care of sick children. For example, it’s commonplace to see children’s medications employ the phrase “mom recommended” or “used by more moms.” The concept is based on the notion that mom is the nurturer and caregiver, and the only one who nurses a sick child back to health while dad is not involved.exergen3.png

We all know that times have changed, and that today’s modern family is different from those of yesteryear.

Thermometer-maker Exergen has been circulating a promo lately that continues with this same premise. Yet it takes the gender-biased language even further by creating what it calls a “Mother’s Rebate.” This, of course, creates the awkward situation where a dad could plausibly apply for and receive a rebate that supposedly was not intended for him.

It’s difficult to accept this slanted name for a variety of reasons, not the least of which that it discounts fathers as true parents. exergen.jpg

This makes the irony just that much greater when you visit its website, where it proudly boasts that Exergen is “changing the way the world takes temperature.” However, dads are a part of this world, too. In our estimation, Exergen’s promo is only perpetuating old-fashioned stereotypes that squarely disregard dads as nurturers and caregivers.

Let’s hope Exergen can get it straight before its self-made dad-exclusion-fever reaches new levels. After all, there are other brand name thermometers out there.

Dads have a fever, and the only prescription is a new thermometer

Somebody may want to tell the marketing team at Exergen that there’s something unique about its product which it clearly didn’t realize before sending out its latest rebate offer via email: dads can use thermometers, too.exergen

I know, I know, this may seem hard to believe. We all know there’s certain things each gender can’t do: women don’t know how to use power tools; men can’t become nurses; women can’t play sports; men can’t cook.

But we’re here to say that despite these gender inadequacies, it’s entirely plausible that dads may be able to hold an instrument – and a baby! – and measure its fever. Why? Because they care. Because they count. Because they’re parents, too.

You’ll have to forgive us for our heavy dose of cynicism, but we’re living in a world where companies are spending so much money on making its creation the absolutely best it can be (or as Exergen puts it, “changing the way the world takes temperature”), and remaining so wrapped up in product development, that they tend to overlook one key component: to whom they’re selling.

exergen2That a classic marketing misstep, because there are a lot of thermometer companies out there. Perhaps Exergen offers the world’s finest thermometer that will ever be made, and no other product on the market can compare.

But if it isn’t speaking to dads, they why would the “other half” of its customer base listen?